Love Came Down with Goodness

The Art of God Watching“You’re a good, good Father.  That’s who you are! That’s who you are!  And I am loved by you.  That’s who I am!  That’s who I am!”

“Good, Good Father” has caught the heart of  worshipers across North America.  This powerful modern-day psalm was birthed in a house church service by Tony Brown, a young man raised without a father, who explains how this song arose as a spontaneous line of worship during one of their meetings and he just kept singing it year after year.  The chorus anchored Tony to the heart of His Father.(1)

Tony reflected “The only person I have ever called ‘dad’ has been my heavenly Father.  It’s part of my redemptive history.”  Pat Barrett, worship leader of Housefires II, shared in an interview how God’s goodness as Father became an anthem for his life, especially since becoming a father himself.  Chris Tomlin agreed. When recording this song, he prayed, “Lord, don’t let me mess this up… This is a generational song.  What I pray for is that this song becomes the fabric of the Church.”(2)

Our family heard this song at Emmanuel Church at a city-wide monthly meeting for revival called Ablaze, with our good friends Pastor Shyju and Tiny Matthew, this past weekend in Montreal. On our way home, we listened to cranked up versions by Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Bethel and Housefires II, speakers booming as we flew down the highway.  The car was flooded with the presence of the Lord as six of us sang out the truth, “You’re perfect in all of Your ways”, hearts full as this anthem bore the grace of our Father, line upon line.

In the days of King David, when the nation’s battles just never seemed to stop, David consistently responded with worship.

Worship is a power tool for the Church to move forward in unison, to grab hold of the truth of our God, to release our faith in praise to Him, one phrase at a time.  Worship assures our hearts of God’s undeniable goodness even when tough circumstances shout otherwise.  Worship molds believers into trusting warriors.  Worship dismantles the demands by orphans who cry “prove Yourself!” and shapes us into sons who cry “O Father, I believe!”

keysWhen I sought the Lord for direction for 2016, He pressed Isaiah 29:29-30 upon me:

And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.(3)

I see a great connect between worship and victory, between expectant faith in our Good Good Father and justice at the hand of the Lord this year, that as we worship our God, the Rock of Israel,  the Lord’s majestic voice will be heard upon the earth.

I believe in 2016, as songs of worship from the heart arise, like this song, “You’re a Good, Good Father”, the world is going to see Love come down into our lives with a powerful verifiable reality.  Like David, I believer as we rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate God with intentional holy expression, the Lord’s arm of salvation, His authority, power and mercy of the Lord will be revealed in measurable evidence.

Since July, a few thousand radical believers have been fighting the enemy’s campaign of apathy and discouragement with a strategic global prayer assault led by Sapphire Leadership.  In December, Arthur Burk taught how naming our God, celebrating not only the victories by the Lord but also the revelation of Himself as discovered through the battle is crucial for moving forward.(4)

In a prayer call on Tuesday with Redleaf Canada (4), I heard myself celebrating the God Who Answers. This is one of the names of God I have personally experienced in multiple variegated ways.  To my joy, I discovered this is one of David’s names for God, as he penned:

Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed.O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.
Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them. Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple. By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas.(5)

Many times, the response in battle is to groan, lament, complain or go silent, yet David pens, psalm after psalm, his connect between worship of his God and victory in battle.

This year, I dare you to write, paint, sing, blog, dance and live psalms of worship to our Good Good Father.

Let’s Pray:  Father, may the sound of our heart’s cry of thanksgiving for You, Almighty God resound across this earth. May the sound of our worship bring joy to You.  May we each know the goodness of Your house, O God of Our Salvation, as Your beloved children this 2016. We ask this in view of Your great mercy, in awe of Your great love and in celebration of Your Spirit, who will faithfully lead us forward in truth to the glory of Your Son, our Lord Jesus, King of all kings and beloved Friend to all who believe. Amen.

 

Jenny Winter

Happy New Year!

This Week’s Reading:  Psalm 45 – 65

Next Week’s Reading: Psalm 66 -91

Study Questions:

  1. Which psalm most reflected your life in 2015.  Why?
  2. David and the many writers of the psalms reflect a huge range of emotion.  Which emotion do you connect with when you read the psalms?
  3. In David’s day, psalms were used formally in the temple.  Often, these psalms came from a personal experience, like Tony Brown who wrote “Good, Good Father” and David, who penned Psalm 51, a song of redemption written after the death of his son conceived with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah.  Which current worship psalm do you resonate with?
  4. How does singing worship corporately shift you forward?  Compare private and corporate worship this week.  See how each bring different value in your walk with the Lord.
  5. Worship, that which extols the virtue of our God, has powerful effect on our maturity and growth as believers.  Write a psalm, song or poem reflecting your current battle.  See how God meets you in your worship this year.

References

(1)In My Father’s House, a Blog by Mel Wild. https://melwild.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/the-story-behind-good-good-father

(2)Chris Tomlin Speaks about “Good Good Father”. https://youtu.be/NjYfaFYdNq0

(3)Isaiah 29: 29-30. New King James version.

(4)”Hebrew Worship: Naming God” by Arthur Burk. http://slgcoaching.com/2015/12/28/35-hebrew-worship-naming-god/

(5)  Psalm 65:1-6, New Kings James version.

Good Good Father can be heard here.